The ReUnion of Gambling Professionals has once again succeeded in bringing to its event the crème de la crème in all areas governing or related to our gambling industry, giving this meeting the chance to be a success from the start.
This year we had an audience of 116 people from 57 companies (operators, device manufacturers, service providers, PR companies, law firms, professional and employer associations, etc.). 14 panels and 18 speakers contributed greatly to the success of this event, for which we thank them!
Our business event had for the second consecutive year as moderator Mr. Professor Dr. Lawyer Marius Cezar Pantea. He made an important contribution to the event by providing valuable insights on the topics discussed during the conference and successfully fulfilled his duties as moderator, managing to lead the debates in an efficient and fluent manner.
The first intervention came from Mr Jan Sipovsky, Head of Account Management Synot. He had a very useful presentation for the audience because he highlighted the products and services that the Slovak manufacturer offers to the Romanian market, both in terms of gaming machines, which are in high demand in our gaming halls, and in the online area, as a producer of games for online casinos.
Next, in an ad-hoc way we could say, Mrs Odeta Nestor, the president of AOJND (Association of Remote Gambling Organisers) and the lawyers Cosmina Simion and Ana-Maria Baciu from SCA Simion Baciu joined forces and presented the legislative situation in our industry. Geanina Oprița – Senior Compliance Office at Kaizen Gaming completed the team of speakers.
The debates focused on the new legislative changes and their implications for the proper functioning of the gambling market. after the authorities unsustainably combined legislative changes – without impact studies and without serious consultation with the industry – with surcharging, the second in almost a year. Among other things, the new features of GEO 82/2023 and the way in which the rules to be published will apply were discussed. The presentation was entitled “Amendments to the regulatory framework applicable to gambling”. It reviewed changes affecting both the online and land-based markets, changes that are exclusively aimed at the online market or that are exclusively aimed at the land-based market.
Later we had an intermezzo with Mr. Marian Mocanu who made a presentation of Magnumbet terminals.
Mr Cristian Pascu (president of AOPJNR) and Mr Doru Gheorghiu (Exprogame consultant) had an original moment where they presented the worries and concerns of the operators they represent through a funny carol. But things were as serious as possible, both protagonists had firm and well documented speeches showing that these new legislative changes will dynamite the land-based sector of small and medium operators in the field.
In what followed Mr Daniel Grigore, Director of Delloite Tax, reviewed in his presentation, “Taxation in gambling”. He spoke about the methodology for determining the minimum turnover tax (IMCA), the tax dimension of OUG 82 and other tax and operational challenges.
Very useful and interesting was also the presentation of Mrs Cristina Bădoi, consultant for business and management in the field of gambling, who presented “Solutions regarding the use of alternative methods for the establishment of guarantees for gambling operators”, one of the most debated topics at RPG 11.
At the end of the first part of the meeting Ana-Maria Mărculescu announced the launch of APONJN, the ASSOCIATION OF NON-AFFILIATED GAMBLING PARTNERS AND ORGANIZERS, an association whose main objective is to identify and solve the challenges in the field of gambling, but also to promote industry-specific activities as purely entertaining, to change the collective mindset and to educate for the integration of gambling services in the entertainment industry, together with HORECA.
The second session of the Gambling Professionals Meeting kicked off with a bang with a video presentation from our partner Vlad Cazino who revealed the success of “Journey to zero” or how you can design your business with zero revenue from harmful gambling.
Then Mr. Alexandru Cristea, Tax Partner, Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații Tax S.R.L., joined us. He continued the topic of taxation with a focus on operating remote gambling business through a permanent establishment, streamlining VAT flows, and also discussed Joint Ventures.
In the meantime, the President of the National Gambling Office (ONJN), Mr. Gheorghe Gabriel Gheorghe, arrived at our meeting and honoured us with his presence, for which we thank him. He took the floor for a few minutes and told the audience the main objectives he had set for his mandate, promising that next time he will be invited he will come with concrete data and solutions to the industry’s problems, as he could not be ready at this moment to answer in a concrete and efficient way the questions that would have come from the audience, due to the short time between his official appointment and the date we had the event.
Next, Mrs. Laura Boșneag, Sales Manager Novomatic Romania, made an interesting presentation of our partner about the latest news offered by the Austrian manufacturer to the Romanian gambling market, about the new slot machines and the new games offered to operators.
The meeting continued with an important topic for us as an industry, as we have such a negative and distorted image in the eyes of public opinion and authorities. As a result we invited Mr. Codrin Scutaru, CEO Public Affairs Solutions, who made a very interesting presentation, and useful we say, for all those who do not yet understand how important image is for an industry that works with money and people as a form of entertainment.
The penultimate panel of the day was dedicated to AML. Issues related to preventing and combating money laundering within the reporting bodies of our gambling industry were put on hold for a while, with other more pressing topics taking their place. However, we very much wanted to remind the industry of this topic, especially as non-compliance with AML regulations can lead to the withdrawal of the operator’s licence.
The guests were Mrs Georgeta Petre (financial analyst and lecturer in relations with reporting bodies at the ONPCSB) and Dana Morar from the Prevention, Supervision and Control Directorate of the same institution.
The last speech of the day was given by Mr. Tudor Vidrean Căpușan, lawyer, assistant professor, Faculty of European Studies, UBB Cluj – Napoca. “European legislation and its jurisprudence in the gambling industry in Romania” was the name of the presentation and highlighted among other things the real possibility that, if desired, a company or several companies in the field could sue the Romanian state at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to seek justice as this field has been systematically “bribed” by the Government through tax increases and restrictive and almost unbearable legislative changes.
We believe that the 11th edition of the Gambling Professionals’ Meeting was an important success, both in terms of the number and range of speakers present and the importance of the topics addressed. A 5-star event that does credit to the industry for which it was organised and that the gambling industry should be proud to have benefited from.
Thank you to all the Partners and lecturers and to those present in the audience!
See you next year on 5 December for the 12th edition.